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Mar 31, 2020

132 Out-of-Season Whole Lobsters Confiscated

Fisheries personnel were on patrol on Sunday when they came across a vessel with four persons who threw their cargo of one hundred and thirty-two whole lobsters overboard.  As you may know, the lobster season is closed at this time and reopens until June, so fishermen shouldn’t be harvesting lobster.  The four persons found on the vessel are boat captain Derek Gorosica, Paola Colman, Kaliherb Blanco and Leon Joseph. Only Blanco pleaded guilty to the charge; but Captain Gorosica remains detained for an outstanding fisheries fine from a previous offence. Hampton Gamboa shares details of the bust.


Hampton Gamboa

Hampton Gamboa, Supervisor, Conservation/Compliance Unit, Belize Fisheries Department

“Officers were on routine patrol from Twin  Caye in the south water caye marine reserve heading to Belize City along the reef when they came across the fishing vessel. There were individuals in the water and the officer observed that and decided to stop and search the vessel. The vessel took off; throwing what appeared to be a crocus sack over the side of the vessel and took off driving. Officers retrieved the bag and continued to chase the vessel and they threw out another bag. Fortunately, we were able to catch up with them because of the vessel we were in. There were four individuals; one female and three males. All three individuals were taken to court today to answer to charges of possession of lobster during the close season. They were large lobsters and they were whole; totaling a hundred and thirty two lobsters, individual lobsters found.  We made a request for the seizure of the vessel which the court granted. It is a twenty-five footer fiber glass vessel with a brand new Yamaha horse power engine on it.”


Andrea Polanco

“These fisherfolk – they don’t have a license?”


Hampton Gamboa

“Yes they all have a license and that is the reason we requested the boat because it hasn’t been licensed.”


Andrea Polanco

“So, in a case like this, would their license be revoked?”


Hampton Gamboa

“I picked that matter up with my prosecutor this morning and the administrator will be looking into that because with the new fisheries law that has been passed on the fourteenth of February, the fisheries administrator reserves the right to do as such whether it is a suspension or revoke over a period of time depending on repeated offenders. So the department will be looking into that going into the next week or so.”


A ball park figure of the market price of this bust is between two thousand five hundred and three thousand five hundred dollars. Gamboa notes that the fisheries patrol team and the coast guard will be on patrol during the State of Emergency. 

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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